2022 Super Bowl Predictions: How Experts Are Looking To Bet Bengals-Rams Spread Based On Early Odds
Getty Images. Pictured: Rams QB Matthew Stafford, Bengals QB Joe Burrow
The 2022 Super Bowl is set — and our experts already have their early betting predictions for Bengals-Rams.
With the Rams opening as 3.5- to 4-point favorites against the Bengals, find out why two of our analysts are leaning toward picking opposite sides of the early spread while another is waiting to lock in any bets for now.
2022 Super Bowl Predictions
|Sean Koerner||Wait to bet|
|Brandon Anderson||Lean Rams|
|Raheem Palmer||Lean Bengals|
Sean Koerner: Wait to bet
Sean Koerner is our Director of Predictive Analytics and was one of the 10 most-accurate fantasy football rankers of this season.
I like the Bengals +4, but the Rams quickly getting bet up from -3.5 to -4 could have been due to sharp action, so I’m going to wait before betting the spread.
Both teams’ starting tight ends — C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Higbee — were injured on Sunday and their statuses are up in the air. Regardless, I’ll want to analyze this matchup more before locking any bets in.
As of now, I don’t think the Rams will move down to -3, hence why I think I can wait.
I’m projecting the total at 48, so I like the under at 50. However, it’s the Super Bowl, so we are going to see a ton of public action on the over. I’m willing to wait and lock in the under if/when the line gets up to 51.5 since 51 is a key number (check real-time NFL odds here).
Brandon Anderson: Lean Rams
Brandon Anderson is an NFL betting analyst and co-host of The Action Network Podcast.
The Rams were the far better team in their NFC Championship win, while the Bengals looked totally out of it against the Chiefs before scratching and clawing their way back to steal the AFC crown from down 18.
Still, we need to trust what we saw on Sunday: That the Rams are the much better team.
Los Angeles is better than Cincinnati in all three facets of the games. The Rams finished the season ranked top eight in offensive, defensive and even special teams DVOA, per Football Outsiders. The Bengals ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in offensive and defensive DVOA, as well as season-long overall DVOA.
DVOA can only tell us so much, but it does tell us that the Rams were a far better regular-season team and that the Bengals are one of the worst Super Bowl teams in recent memory. Remember, they got a big comeback win over the Chiefs, but also went down 21-3 early and looked lifeless — both parts count.
The key is the Rams defense, because it’s the best the Bengals will face all season.
Cincinnati faced the easiest slate of opposing defenses all year, somehow facing only one defense that finished the season ranked in the top 10, plus twice against the 11th-ranked Browns. The Bengals lost all three games (one while resting in Week 18), averaging just 19.5 points in the two meaningful games compared to 28.9 against the rest of the schedule.
Cincinnati has yet to play a top-11 defense in the playoffs, too, escaping with three one-score victories and just enough offense against pretty average units.
And the Rams are just not an average defense, particularly up front. Remember how the Titans sacked Joe Burrow nine times in the Divisional Round behind this shoddy Bengals offensive line? The Rams lead the league in ESPN’s pass rush win rate — and Aaron Donald, Von Miller and Co. are going to live in the Bengals’ backfield.
I don’t trust these teams and I did not expect either to win three games and reach the Super Bowl. Obviously I was wrong, and that means I’m making a tentative read here on two teams I need to give more credit to as I do more research for the big game. But my initial read is that the Rams are the better team, especially on defense, and that their pass rush against the Bengals offensive line is the big mismatch that tilts L.A.’s direction.
The team that covers is typically winning this postseason, so I’m leaning the Rams’ direction early.
Raheem Palmer: Lean Bengals
Raheem Palmer is an NFL betting analyst and co-host of The Action Network Podcast.
My full-season numbers actually make the Rams closer to five-point favorites over Cincinnati, but I personally don’t believe that’s capturing what this Bengals team is now.
With Aaron Donald and Von Miller, the Rams do have a huge edge with their defensive line, which ranks first in ESPN’s pass rush win rate. Against this struggling Bengals offensive line, that matchup is key.
However, the Bengals also have a huge edge with their receivers in Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd facing this depleted Rams secondary. I don’t have a definitive pick yet, but there’s something really special about Joe Burrow and he is looking Tom Brady-esque during this postseason.
Burrow won a game in which he was sacked nine times and won another in which he was down 21-3 against Patrick Mahomes. I still don’t have faith in Matthew Stafford and personally believe Burrow is the better quarterback, so I’m inclined to lean toward the Bengals with the points and the moneyline. But I may be waiting on the market to find the best number.